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Hadith, Piety, and Law
Selected Studies

By Christopher Melchert

Hadith, Piety, and Law
Paperback, 383 pages £41.00
Published: 2015
ISBN: 9781937040499
Format: 254mm x 178mm
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Subjects: Arabic and Islamic Studies, Lockwood Press
Series: Resources in Arabic and Islamic Studies

The publication of The Formation of the Sunni Schools of Law, Ninth-Tenth Centuries C.E., first as a University of Pennsylvania doctoral dissertation in 1992, and subsequently as a monograph in 1997 (Studies in Islamic Law and Society, Brill), established Christopher Melchert as a pre-eminent scholar of the history of Islamic law and institutions. Through close readings of works on fiqh, meticulous unpacking of data in biographical dictionaries, and careful attention to curricular, pious, pedagogical, and scholarly practices, Melchert has subsequently illuminated the processes and procedures that undergirded the development of Islamic movements and institutions in the formative period of Islam.

The present volume brings together sixteen of his articles, including those considered his most important as well as ones that are difficult to access. Originally published between 1997 and 2014, they are arranged chronologically under three rubrics - hadith, piety and law. The material is presented in a new format, updated by Melchert where appropriate, and indexed. The appearance of these articles together in a single volume makes this book a highly significant and welcome contribution to the field of classical Islamic Studies.



1. The Adversaries of A?mad Ibn ?anbal

2. Bukh?r? and Early Hadith Criticism

3. The Musnad of A?mad ibn ?anbal: How It Was Composed and What Distinguishes It from the Six Books

4. Bukh?r? and His ?a???’

5. The Life and Works of AlNas?’?’


6. Early Renunciants as ?ad?th Transmitters

7. The Piety of the Hadith Fol

8. Ba?ran Origins of Classical Sufism

9. The Transition from Asceticism to Mysticism at the Middle of the Ninth Century C.E.

10. Exaggerated fear in the Early Islamic Renunciant Tradition

11. Renunciation (zuhd) in the Early Shi?i tradition


12. How ?anafism Came to Originate in Kufa and Traditionalism in Medina

13. Traditionist-Jurisprudents and the Framing of Islamic Law

14. The Meaning of q?la ’lSh?fi‘? in Ninth-Century Sources

15. M?ward?, Ab? Ya?lá, and the Sunni Revival

16. Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim alJawziyya and the ?anbali School of Law

Christopher Melchert is professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford. His main interests are Islamic movements and institutions, Sufism and renunciant and other pietistic movements, and the life and works of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, on all of which he has published more than fifty major articles, as well as a biography in the Makers of the Muslim World series - Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Oneworld, 2006). Melchert has held a Social Science Research Council Fellowship (Syria), a Fulbright Fellowship (Turkey) and a Charlotte Newcombe Fellowship, and has been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and most recently at the National Humanities Center in Durham, North Carolina.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 383 pages
 254mm x 178mm

BIC Code:
  REL037020, SOC048000
 Lockwood Press


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